Luckily, a number of services have arisen to fill this niche. These services allow you to monitor the vast majority of blogs online for any buzz about your personal brand or keywords related to your brand. This way you can pop in to comment on a new post, pull positive quotes to use in your own materials, or arrange link trades to help boost your visibility.
Google Alerts is one of the most popular ways to keep up on your personal brand, not only in blogs but also in news items, general web searches, Google Groups, and videos. The search allows you to decide which areas you want searched for your terms, how often you want them searched, and how many results you want displayed. You then enter an email address and Google Alerts will send you regular updates telling you where your brand has been discussed on the internet.
Technorati is arguably the most used, and most powerful way to search blogs and receive updates on key phrases in new blog posts. The service indexes hundreds of thousands of blogs, as well as keeping up on news clippings. This enormous database can then be quickly searched for appearances of your brand name. From that search you can generate an RSS feed, which will give you immediate updates when a new blog post appears anywhere in the blogosphere that mentions your brand.
If you’re interested in watching only a select few blogs, rather than the entire blogosphere, a service like WatchThatPage may prove to be more useful. This site allows you to create a list of pages that you want to monitor. You can then receive updates whenever the page is updated, or only when specific changes have been made to the change. For example, you could compile a list of your competitors’ blogs and business pages, and set it to alert you whenever your brand is mentioned on any of those pages, to keep appraised of negative spin they may be attempting to generate.
RollyoAn alternative to WatchThatPage, Rollyo lets you create a dynamic search based on a search string that checks anything from the entire internet to specified list of sites. This search can then be turned into an RSS feed to give you regular updates. Although newer than WatchThatPage, Rollyo offers a number of additional tools, including a Firefox extension and other widgets to help keep you up to date more seamlessly.